The San Diego Gulls looked to end their two-game losing skid as they faced off against the San Jose Barracuda, but a late period rally was not enough to stop San Jose from bringing the Gulls losing streak to three.
Through the first two periods, both teams were fairly even on chances but neither team was able to convert. Both teams traded penalties in the second but special teams came up short though San Jose’s penalty kill looked far more like a power play.
The Gulls roster carried seven defenseman and the forward lines featured two newcomers on professional tryouts, Zac Lazzara, and Robert Czarnik, seemingly looking to fill the void left by Matt Bailey who is likely out for the season after suffering a broken jaw and concussion after an illegal check on December 26, in a game against the Ontario Reign. Both newcomers had a decent showing, Czarnik even playing on the top line, neither put anything on the board but head coach Dallas Eakins said that is not what he is looking for. “They need to show that they can be responsible and not give up anything. But the guys we had in there tonight, I thought they played well.”
The third was a much heavier hitting period picking up the pace of the game on both sides of the ice. Barracuda forward Mark Cundari managed to find the back of the net first, a lead they didn’t hold for long as Gulls forward Antoine Laganiere buried one behind Barracuda goaltender Troy Grosenick after forcing the play back in San Jose’s zone.
Though the majority of the third was played in San Jose’s zone, they managed to come with a few strong chances forcing Gulls goaltender Anton Khudobin to make spectacular saves and sending the game into overtime.
Gulls had the overtime win on their stick but Langaniere missed a wide open net that led to a Barracuda breakout, resulting in a game-winning goal by defenseman Karl Stollery with only 27 seconds left in the overtime period.
Eakins said after the game that he didn’t love the overall execution from the team, comparing the team to the Harlem Globetrotters but said, “we played fine, but when you play fine you end up in overtime.”
Nick Ritchie – Michael Sgarbossa – Robert Czarnik
Antoine Laganiere – Chris Mueller – Stefan Noesen
Bryan Moore – Zac Larraza – Stu Bickel (defenseman)
Brian McGrattan – Kyle Bonis – Kenny Ryan
Shane O’Brien – Jaycob Megna
Andrew – O’Brien – Eric Knodel
Joe Piskula – Brandon Montour